> I have to admit, it does lead to a bit of intellectual laziness -- on a
> relevant topic, I can pretty easily find out what the rest of you have
> thought about it, without me having to do extensive research other than
> scanning prior posts.
I will admit to doing that once in a while with my work, but there is
really no substitute for learning lessons your own way.
I think the confusions come in when we take into account three
different types of evidence: Anecdotal Evidence, Scientific Evidence,
The Internets are full of anecdotal evidence masquerading as something
greater. Is Anecdotal Evidence a false evidence? Not necessarily, but
it lacks context and intellectual consideration.
Scientific Evidence is all about what can be measured. It's 100% fact
base, but it also lacks context and intellectual consideration.
Picking a lens based solely on MTF charts is an example of where we
are at today with these new lenses that are extremely sharp, but may
be unusable for the majority of applications.
Empirical Evidence is the tricky one, because it is primarily about
context and intellectual consideration, but the conclusions are
occasionally opposite of the other two evidences. For example,
"micro-contrast" is something that really isn't so much measured as it
is observed. (we CAN measure certain traits that contribute to it, but
I don't think we can measure it directly). Same with bokeh. Is it
mathematically calculated or is it observed and graded based on
observer's preference and cultural expectation? To say that a lens has
lovely bokeh is not a scientific statement of fact.
My own empirical evidence, in regard to some lenses, is usually based
on repeatable anecdotal evidence, combined with scientific testing
mostly to determine what is not a contributing factor. In other words,
EVERY individual photo provides anecdotal evidence. A collection of
photos provides empirical evidence. Controlled testing produces
scientific evidence that helps explain the empirical evidence.
Themed Olympus Photo Exhibition: http://www.tope.nl/